Paul Obiajunwo Port Harcourt
Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo has called on Institutions of Higher Learning to expand their curriculum to accommodate the translation of the Bible into major indigenous languages of the State.
According to Dr. Banigo, this will not only spread the Gospels of Jesus Christ but would promote the identity and culture of the people.
Dr. Banigo made the call at the Life Members’ Conference of Bible Society of Nigeria in Port Harcourt.
The Deputy Governor, who was represented by her Special Assistant on Legal Matters, Mr. Ishmeal Blue-Jack, described the theme of the conference “In Everything Give Thanks” as thought provoking, considering the current political reality, excruciating economic recession and upsurge in security challenges across the globe.
She lauded the Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) for the translation, publication and distribution of the Holy Bible into indigenous languages particularly in Khana (Ogoni) and the New Testament in Kalabari, Okirika, Eleme, Gokana and Izon languages.
The Deputy Governor urged the BSN to collaborate with other Agencies to organize regular bible quiz competitions amongst Youths to enhance the reading culture of the Bible.
She said the State Government is collaborating with Religious Organisations towards building a virile and peaceful Society pointing out that the appointment of a Special Adviser on Religious Matters by Governor Wike was based on his belief that the present administration is anchored on God.
Dr. Banigo further emphasized the need for Linguistics or Language Department of Universities and other Higher Institutions of Learning to expand their curriculum to accommodate the translation of the Bible into major indigenous languages, to promote the identity and culture of the people.
Chairman of the occasion, Engr. Wenike Fred Princewill, expressed appreciation over the commitments of the Bible Society of Nigeria to translate the Bible into other indigenous languages and urged them not to relent in their efforts.
Earlier, the Guest Speaker, Rev. Benjamin Greene, President, Rivers Baptist Conference, advised Christians to be steadfast and thankful to God even at difficult times and appealed to well-meaning Individuals and Corporate bodies to support the BSN in realizing its objectives.